Omega Ophthalmics: CEO & Co-Founder
Rick Ifland has been inspiring young leaders for over thirty years. A successful entrepreneur and private equity investor, he has served in an executive capacity from startups to Fortune 500 companies. He currently serves as the CEO of Omega Ophthalmics, a medical device company that is bringing a revolutionary new platform to cataract surgery, drug delivery and augmented and virtual reality.
He also chairs the Economics and Business department at Westmont College where he is the founding director of the Eaton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, ranked by Forbes magazine as the 10th most entrepreneurial program in America. He teaches courses in executive leadership, executive strategy, executive management, entrepreneurship and new venture development, change and innovation, business at the bottom of the pyramid, and the capstone course Senior Seminar.
Rick also serves as the president and co-founder of Barna Global, a research and communications company that serves Christian ministries and leaders around the world. Barna Global helps leaders to understand cultural, spiritual and technological trends and to wrestle with the implications of those shifts.
He is currently working on a book exploring how people find purpose and thrive in a global culture with diminished hierarchy and moral structures of authority, positing that biblical principles are timeless and true even in the midst of change.
Rick earned a Master’s degree in International Law from Oxford University, an MBA from the Gatton School of Business at the University of Kentucky, and an undergraduate degree in Economics and Business from Westmont College. He has led non-governmental organizations in developing HIV/AIDS prevention initiatives throughout Africa and in assisting women and the rural poor participate in society throughout the Middle East, for which he was awarded a Doctor of Science (honoris causa).
When he is not on a plane, he and his wife split their time between the horse country of Central Kentucky and the beaches of Santa Barbara.